From the Pope, too:

The Roamin’ Roman has a report from Vespers

Giving thanks:

Before singing the Te Deum, Benedict XVI saw fit to “to recall in a special way all those who are in difficulties: the poorest and neglected people, all those who have lost hope in a well-grounded sense of their existence, or who are unwillingly the victims of egotistical interests, without ever having been asked for their agreement or opinion. Making their sufferings ours, we entrust them all to God, who knows how to turn all things for the good”.

Finally, the Pope recalled the title of the New Year’s Eve celebration: Mary, Mother of God (Theotokos), a title very dear to the Orthodox community. “A mother is she who gives life but also she who helps and teaches how to live,” said the Pope. “Mary is Mother, Mother of Jesus to who she gave her blood, her body. And it is she who presents the eternal Word of the Father, come to live among us. Let us ask Mary to intercede for us. Her maternal protection accompanies us today and always, so that Christ may welcome us one day in his glory, in the communion of Saints”.

At the end of the celebration, the pope visited the gigantic crib set up in St Peter’s Square, at the foot of the central obelisk.


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